We finally arrived home. It was much to late to have the birthday cake that was specially brought for Rachel and me, and too late as well for making pasta. So leftovers and and eight hours in the bus completed this day, and I suppose I’ve had more lively birthdays, but it wasn’t outright bad. Just a little boring.
In China, you don’t have “playgrounds” — you have exercise parks.
So Mime has kindly decided to demonstrate the wonders of these machines.
Today, forget your daily walk around the block — why not hop on one of these and let it walk for you?
|Like rollerskating, jumping machines, shooting galleries, and roller coasters.|
|Strawberries, hawthorn berries, pineapple, tomatoes, you name it and it’s candied on a stick!|
|I decided to have a go at these things, which family and Chinese alike laughed at me…|
The answer, also in Chinese; “Sit down, sit down.” So I sat down.
Another Art Experience:
|Our self-appointed tour-guide.|
This artist decided that he would act as our guide and take us to Old Beijing for our Peking Duck. He was not loosing these customers. No way.
Interviewer: What was…
The highlight of the trip?
Mime: Our trip to Beijing. I did so many unbelievable things, like climbed the Great Wall, circumfrenced the Forbidden City, and explored the Summer Palace. It was amazing.
Interviewer: What scared you the most?
Mime: The fellow at the hairdressers when he made a cutting motion with my hair and began to pin it up. I was worried, to say the least. Cait has a photo to prove it. The traffic didn’t phase me that much. If we die, there’s always heaven. If my hair was cut into a peculiar Chinese style, well…
It turns out he was only drying it, after being washed.
Interviewer: The worst thing you smelt?
Mime: Pickled pineapple and market meat! Stomach turning, to say the least. Oh, and I couldn’t possibly forget trench toilets! Eiieww!!!
Interviewer: The best thing you ate?
Mime: Sweet and sour pork on our first day in Guilin was pretty good, and I do love steamed buns, which most people would look at and say “oh, stuffed dumplings.” No, dumplings are different, but still very good. Steamed buns are different, (according to the Chinese). The meat ones are best, with soysauce. And fried noodles from the markets!!! In the savoury department, they were to die for.
Interviewer: The saddest thing you saw?
Mime: Two things; first the monkeys at the People’s Park in Nanning, in a sunken rock exhibit with rubbish thrown on top and no water… The other was the happy little puppies in cages…so glad to see their devourers. We didn’t eat dog.
Interviewer: What would you have bought if you had the money?
Mime: A stalactite from the Dragon Assembly Cave…just kidding. That would not have fit in my luggage. So truthfully, a nice fancy expensive Chinese fan, or a flute…not very practical. And not very cheap. Or customs friendly.
Interviewer: What other places in China would you liked to have seen?
Mime: The Yangtze River, I think. Or Tibet. I would have happily stayed in China for another month…
Interviewer: Where was the most crowded place you visited?
Mime: Not the icon, the Great Wall, and not the Forbidden City–but the Beijing subway! Apparently the whole of China was going to the zoo that day (and the rest were at the Summer Palace.)
|That’s a lot of people…|
Interviewer: Would you recommend a trip to China for your friends?
Mime: What kind of a question is that??!! Of course! China is an amazing place, historical and old, and modern and new… Such a truly wonderful place should be visited at all costs. I learned so much about China while I was there, despite having studied a unit on China in my school work. For a fun holiday and an exciting learning experience, China’s the place to go.
Interviewer: What advice would you give someone going to China?
Mime: Don’t take the cheaper bus. Ligitimate is better (and faster. Read that story in Cait’s article “Introducing China.”) Be prepared to have your innocence ruined at the public toilets, and also be prepared to do things that would have been considered impossible. (Like crossing a six lane intersection when there’s no traffic lights, walking all over the Forbidden City, then all along one side, and then all the way to Starbucks a “ten minute walk in that direction”. Ten minutes, my foot! And another one is using a doorless toilet.) Be a good scout and “Be Prepared.”
The Chinese, apparently, do their shopping daily, from the markets.
The meat section stinks. Ick! However, carnivores can’t be choosers, so you hold your nose and buy on. Poor ducks (and what that other meat once was) Dinner, anyone?
I’m definitely a tourist to take photos of the eggs. The red stamped characters do look good on a white egg, and black and white looks almost stunning. I suppose the elaborate strokes mean nothing more than “Sunny Farm Eggs”.
And it had to be China when our brother-in-law parked us in (what Australians would consider) the middle of a road lane while he waved a taxi, and then dragged us across a minimum of six lane intersection (the busiest intersection in Nanning) all on our very first day in this weird and wonderful land.